Quinten Dormady, who was Tennessee’s starting quarterback until a shoulder injury sidelined him six games into the 2017 season, met with new Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt on Saturday to discuss the signal caller’s options.
On Monday, Dormady, a junior quarterback from Boerne, Texas, announced that he would transfer from Tennessee.
“I would like to thank everyone at the University of Tennessee program for the opportunity over the past three years to play the game I love at the highest level of college football on the part of the Vol Nation.
“After weeks of reflection, I’ve decided to complete my degree from Tennessee and transfer for my final year of eligibility.
“I am excited as I look to the future and toward a new opportunity.
I am making great progress every day with the help of my family, my friends and doctors. I want to thank everyone for their support through rehab.
“My goal is to work my way back to the game as a post-graduate quarterback – stronger, shaper, ready to compete and to be a good teammate. That is my single focus at the moment.
“To my teammates and coaches, I want to express my gratitude for all that you have done for me on and off the field and I wish the program the greatest of success in the future.”
Dormady, who did not indicate where he might end up playing next season, played in six games against Georgia Tech, Indiana State, Florida, UMass, Georgia and South Carolina and went 76 for 137 for 925 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. He averaged 154.17 yards per game and the Vols went 3-3.
Dormady was replaced in the lineup by Jarrett Guarantano in the Vols’ humiliating 41-0 loss to Georgia, a game that started the momentum for Tennessee to fire coach Butch Jones following a 50-7 Vols thrashing at Missouri.
Defensive line coach Brady Hoke served as interim coach for the final two games – losses to LSU (30-10) and Vanderbilt (42-24).
The Vols finished 4-8 overall – it was the school’s first-ever eight loss season – and 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference, also a first for Tennessee since the SEC’s inception in 1933.
The Vols will have three scholarship quarterbacks on the 2018 roster – Guarantano, sophomore Will McBride and incoming freshman JT Shrout, a 3-star prospect from Newhall, California, who was signed in November during the early signing period.
Guarantano went 86 for 139 for 997 yards in nine games with four touchdowns and two interceptions. McBride, reluctantly brought on when Guarantano was injured in a lackluster 24-10 homecoming win against Southern Miss, was 17-of-40 for 152 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Guarantano got his first extensive action in the Georgia debacle, the Vols’ worst loss since 1905, with 64 seconds left in the third quarter. The Bulldogs, who eventually played and lost to Alabama in the national championship game earlier this month, had just gone ahead 38-0 when Guarantano, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback from Lodi, N.J., took the field.
After that game, Dormady said: “(Georgia) just outplayed us. If you don’t execute and you turn the ball over, you don’t have a chance of winning against a quality SEC opponent.”
He completed 5 of 16 passes for a season-low 64 yards – 44 came on one pass-and-run play to running back John Kelly – and was intercepted twice. Dormady dressed for the next two games, but after the Alabama game he decided to undergo shoulder surgery that ended his season.
In a season-opening overtime win over Georgia Tech, the Vols got off to a slow start but rallied from a 21-7 third-quarter deficit and managed to pull off a 42-41 victory in double overtime. Dormady went 20 for 37 for 221 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Dormady won the starting job after a battle for the job throughout spring and fall camp.
Guarantano and Dormady both played against Indiana State, but the junior QB was picked off three times in the Vols’ 26-20 loss against Florida. His final start was against Georgia.
(Contact Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @larryfleming44)